Friday, December 24th, 2010
Unknown German Master, The Adoration of the Magi, c. 1420
Happy holidays from Alberti’s Window! This is one of the Christmas paintings which I recently discovered while performing a research project for a friend. Isn’t it fun? I love that the kings are wearing contemporary Renaissance clothing – check out the crowns and the ermine robe! Ermine has been associated with royalty (and the extremely wealthy) for a long time, so it’s not surprising that one of the Three Magi is dressed in ermine. Interestingly, though, ermine was also seen as a symbol of purity during the Renaissance period. I think that the inclusion of ermine fur in this painting could also refer to the pure heart of the king (and perhaps emphasize the holy nature of the scene in general).
What is your favorite Nativity/Adoration scene?
Happy holidays and Merry Christmas!